A/N: I have no idea where this came from, but I loved the idea of Camille slowly sharing her other talents with the most important people in her life. The three songs referenced are Brother by NEEDTOBREATHE, He Ain't Heavy...He's My Brother by The Hollies, and We Don't Talk Anymore by Charlie Puth.
Everyone knew Camille as a dancer, a psychologist, a girlfriend, a sister, and friend, but very few knew her as the musician. Her love of music was widely known and appreciated, but her actual playing was limited to her closest circle of her brothers and Moose, all of whom learned by accident. They had all stumbled on her playing or singing at some point and while it frustrated her at the time, she was now happy to have shared those moments, embracing the changes they brought to her relationships.
The first one to find out was of course Tyler. He was her big brother, her confidante, her backbone. He was rarely emotional, instead turning to dance and music when he needed an outlet. They had always been close, it was an antagonistic relationship that involved lots of teasing and noogies but Camille wouldn't change it for the world. She new her rough housing brother was also the first one she went to for comfort for everything from skinned knees to bad dreams and break ups.
After he got attached to Nora, she had had to learn to share him. It was tough and only furthered her abandonment issues, but he didn't let her sink into that mindset, instead taking her with him on some of his adventures with Nora, involving her in as much dancing as he could. That was some time ago now, she was now getting ready to start high school and understood the couple's need for space. Sometimes, even the best sibling relationship required time apart when one is in a serious relationship. Tyler left with Nora for a long weekend, leaving Camille and Malcolm to entertain themselves from Thursday to Monday.
All of this meant Camille wasn't listening for the door or the sound of footsteps up the stairs on Saturday. She was definitely not expecting the bedroom door to swing open or Tyler's defeated, "Camille. Not today, out."
She sprung up from her position sprawled on Tyler's bed. She had come in because she missed him. She was embarrassed to admit she missed him after only two days, but laying in his room and being surrounded by his random clutter and the scent of her cologne made her feel close to her brother. She met his eyes and saw how upset he looked.
Instead of doing what he asked, she scooted further up the bed, sitting against the wall, and patted the spot next to her. Hesitation in his movements, he sat on the edge of the small bed before laying back, his head near Camille's legs. Immediately, he felt her hand lightly brushing his short hair with her hand. They had sat like this many times before, usually the other way around, with Camille laying next to Tyler for comfort after a bad dream or memories of her family resurfaced.
She waited silently, knowing that he would share when he was ready. She was younger, but no one would question her maturity. Her life experiences ensured that. She was still surprised when she heard a hitch in his breath before he began to speak.
"Why doesn't she want me Cam?" He whispered, almost so quietly she didn't hear it.
"Don't. Please don't tell me it's not true Camille. Tonight we talked about the future, and the more I talked about wanting to someday settle down, have a kid or two and give them a happier home than we ever had, the quieter she got. She-" He cleared his throat as his voice cracked. He started again stronger, "She said she didn't see kids for us in the future. Maybe marriage, but not kids."
Camille was shocked into silence as Tyler's head fell back against her leg, she knew that Nora and Tyler had been together for quite a while now. She also knew they loved each other, she didn't doubt that, so she was floored to hear Nora didn't want kids with Tyler. They were young, but still kids someday always seemed in the future.
"Tyler, I'm sorry. She doesn't know what she'll miss. Not everyone has been lucky enough to see you with Malcolm, watched how gentle you can be or seen you teach him. And really, no one has ever seen you when you've been there for me. If and when she sees that side of you, she'll know. She'll know you were made to be a parent some day. If not-"
"No "if nots" Cam. I don't know where we stand right now, but I can't negotiate the future of my relationship. We'll have to make a decision and accept where that leads us." Tyler said, slowly drifting off.
Camille watched him sleep, amazed at the exhaustion he finally submitted to. Her very being ached for Tyler and his pain. She closed her eyes, head back against the wall, and let it out the only way she knew how. Before she knew it, she was singing quietly.
Tyler Gage was a deep sleeper. His siblings had always teased him about his ability to sleep through them jumping on his bed around him, so he was surprised when he woke up to a soothing sound and couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Slowly opening his eyes, he followed the sound to the body on the floor sitting next to his bed. There was Camille, strumming a guitar, quietly singing with a tear slowly making its way down her cheek. Rather than disturb her, he closed his eyes and listened.
Brother let me be your shelter
Never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you're low
"Cam." Tyler began quietly, hoping to not scare her. Her head rose slowly, her hands continued to play the instrument in her lap. Neither was particularly good with words or emotional conversations, so he simply nodded silently, encouraging her to continue while he laid back and listened.
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home
The final note was whispered a capella, emotion clear in her voice.
"I'm so sorry Ty. I can't even begin to understand how you're feeling, but you're not alone. I'm here, and even though he's too young to understand right now, he's here too."
Tyler nodded, looking surprisingly uplifted. He didn't protest when Cam mentioned going to put her guitar back or her return with Malcolm for a sibling movie day. They didn't need to talk anymore, everything that needed to be said had been said. He had always taken care of Camille and Malcolm, but this weekend he truly understood it was a two way street. Looking at his younger siblings squashed into his twin bed, he realized he did have one question that wasn't answered.
It wasn't until a bit later that he asked the one remaining unasked question.
Malcolm found out about her abilities next. Tyler and Nora did eventually make decisions about their future, and life moved steadily on. Malcolm, as the youngest, had little say about the impacts on his life caused by others' decisions. It was because of this simple fact that Camille found her arms full of her sobbing brother. She closed her eyes against her own desire to cry, knowing Malcolm needed her more than she needed to shed tears.
This morning, Tyler had moved out permanently. Not on bad terms, but rather on the simple idea that he was making a steady living and was ready to leave the nest. As she rocked Malcolm slightly, she recalled a song that she'd heard Lena play on the radio one day. She couldn't begin to tell you the name or who performed it but it seemed appropriate.
Calling to memory how Tyler relaxed listening to her play, she froze before making a decision.
"Malcolm. Malcolm. Look at me." She said softly but firmly. She held steady and eventually, his watery brown eyes met hers. "I have a secret. I want to share it with you?"
He looked momentarily confused if it was question to be answered or a statement, so he simply nodded. Camille gestured for Malcolm to follow her to her room and sit with her on the floor.
As she took out her beloved guitar, glancing at Malcolm whose mouth was slightly open in shock. Treading delicately, she continued to speak softly.
"I heard this song once from Lena's radio. It's about being strong enough to support your brother and how it's not a burden. I'm going to be that for you now that Ty's gone."
The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows where
She paused her singing, while continuing to play, watching for his reaction. As expected, she saw him start to relax into the pillow on the floor next to her bed. She continued playing well beyond the time that she heard a soft snore come from the little body next to her.
But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother
She looked up when a large shadow darkened her doorway, and was surprised to see her other brother watching with a proud smile on his face. Before he left, the smile had eased to a look of serenity as he watched Camille play. He knew he could trust Cam to be the big sibling in the house in his stead, the same way he had come to learn to trust her as a friend and not just a little sister himself. They would all be ok in the end.
He chuckled to himself when he heard Malcolm mumble a question in his sleep, but didn't wait to listen for the response.
Moose learned about her abilities last. At the time he had still been learning how to balance his new life as an engineer. Even though they lived together, it wasn't uncommon for them to only see each other in passing at that time. She was up and out of the apartment for her morning run and then to work long before he began to stir for his day, and then he was home late well past dinner time every day.
It had begun to put a strain on their relationship, both so dependent and used to the ease with which their relationship flowed. They were friends long before they dated, it was the cornerstone to who they were and part of why their scheduling issues were truly wearing them both down. Moose missed Camille's reminders to pack a healthy lunch or not to leave his shoes in front of the door as she carded her hand through his curls as she fell asleep, a habit she'd always had and her way of showing she cared. She missed Moose's laughter and even their kitchen karaoke. But ultimately they both missed being able to just sit back and talk over a quiet dinner or while enjoying a walk at the nearby park.
It was with this in mind that Moose took a half day on Friday, knowing Camille only worked mornings on Fridays. He stopped and picked up enough supplies for meals for the weekend, and a handful of sunflowers for the kitchen counter. Genuinely pleased with himself, he walked into the apartment with a pep in his step, surprised to hear the soothing lull of an acoustic guitar being strummed quietly. Walking as carefully as he could, he followed the sound and was surprised to find Camille sitting on their bed with a guitar in her arms. Before he could alert her to his presence, she began to sing and he was paralyzed with shock.
We don't talk anymore, we don't talk anymore
We don't talk anymore, like we used to do
He had been listening to the guitar with his eyes closed but they snapped open upon hearing her words. He was startled by the emotion in her words, and even more by how true they felt. Terrified of what he would hear next, he continued listening, finding himself rocking slightly to the beat.
I just heard you found the one you've been looking
You've been looking for
I wish I would have known that wasn't me
He didn't know he was rocking until he stumbled into the room at that last line. The noise startled Camille, who dropped the guitar in surprise.
"Cam? What's going on?"
"Is that how you feel? Really feel?" He asked sitting down lightly next to her on the bed.
She hesitated to think before responding, "Sometimes. I know engineering is something you're passionate about, and I support it wholeheartedly but sometimes it feels like the other woman to your relationship with it."
Moose watched as she turned her head away as she responded. With a light hand on her cheek he turned her back to face him.
"I'm sorry Cam. I really am. I know the last couple of weeks have been incredibly tough, but I didn't realize how it was making you feel. That's beyond a my bad on my part, and I don't know how to even begin to make it up to you, but-"
"Moose, you don't have to make it up. We just haven't even had the chance to discuss how to deal with these changes lately and I've been feeling really left behind and out of touch with you."
"Me too, Chameleon, me too. That's why I took half the day off. I wanted to be home early so we could spend a weekend just us."
Camille's eyes lit up as a smile broke across her face.
"Really really. We can make this work Camille."
With a small smile, laying her head on his chest as she pushed him down to recline on the pillows she said softly, "Yea, I think so too."
Moose laid back without reservation or comment, smiling softly at her reply. It wasn't until a bit later that he asked the one remaining question he had.
Coincidentally, all three conversations ended the exact same way. She couldn't help but chuckle to herself whenever she thought about it.
"You play guitar?"